March 21st, 2011

From Reuters:

FLASH: Japan nuclear safety agency says does not believe much water from no. 3 and no. 4 reactors is seeping underground

Oh. Not “much.” There’s an excellent example of spin.

  1. rockhead
    March 21st, 2011 at 14:17 | #1

    Here is one of the best summaries I have seen from the Great Orange –
    I guess the big things to watch are the storage pools for #3 and #4.

    Currently they may both have leaks.


  2. z
    March 21st, 2011 at 18:17 | #2

    I also like “There is no IMMEDIATE health threath according to speaker Yukio Edano”.

    One should also add up the food and water intake. Maybe the milk and spinach won’t pose threats on an individual basis. But if you add them all up over time including tap water…

    Let’s hope they bring reactor 3 under control this week, sounds like the most troublesome.

  3. Troy
    March 21st, 2011 at 18:53 | #3

    Strange assertion . . . maybe they are referring to the water spraying attempts?

    They said they were trying to get 2000 tonnes into a 1400 tonne pool, not sure that is a good idea when it’s got a bunch of nasty stuff.

    One question nobody is asking is where is all this 海水 water they’re injecting going???

    If it is being evaporated in the reactor core, it will gum everything up with radioactive salt.

    If it is being discharged, it will end up in the environment rather quickly.

    They like the story the radiation at their main office is saying:


    but if that injected water is going into the ocean it’s going to be pretty bad since the reactor cores of 1, 2, 3 have compromised fuel cladding to some degree.

  4. Troy
    March 21st, 2011 at 19:10 | #4

    rockhead — this guy is not quite fully up to speed . . .

    “It was reported that there was a hole in the wall of the reactor building [of unit 2]”


    I read that workers opened this hole to vent hydrogen, but I can’t find that link now.

    “However, that only began recently and from what I have read, there are just 30 fuel rods in the pool that contain MOX fuel”

    There are 52 “new” assemblies, that’s 3328 fuel rods, or about 900kg.

    But he’s right that all spent fuel assemblies have plutonium.

    Unit 4 fuel pool:

    “There have been reports that it had run completely dry but they appear now to have been inaccurate”

    There has been no credible evidence presented that unit 4’s fuel pool isn’t dry, as the chairman of the NRC stated last week. He didn’t have any reason to say this if it wasn’t already known.

  5. Troy
    March 22nd, 2011 at 06:47 | #5

    One question nobody is asking is where is all this 海水 water they’re injecting going???

    heh, TEPCO just announced that their seawater emissions of Iodine and Cesium were 25 to 130X over the limit

    in the good news department, Unit 4 is looking pretty good now.

    Unit 3 looks to have a 128deg hotspot in the fuel pool, which probably explains why they’ve been trying to get water into that building so hard.

    I think we’re past the really bad news stage.

    There may be another vent needed to reduce the pressure in Unit 3, and these reactors will be venting contaminated seawater for weeks if not months (since they will still be running hot for quite some time), but I think the “OMG run away” scenario is over.

    So if I were you I’d buy that joubu house!

  6. rockhead
    March 22nd, 2011 at 13:05 | #6

    Yeah, it may be looking a bit better, but still If it was me, I would
    not commit on the house until the last moment.
    It sucks trying to figure out what is going on – its a huge media fail.
    I find myself having to really dig and tunnel, and sort and sift my
    way thru lots of stuff to stay current. If you can read Japanese
    is it a little easier ?

    March 22nd, 2011 at 14:00 | #7

    Come on, guys! The question is whether the news are true. If they are, and there is no reason to believe that they aren’t, they are good news. Beyond that, what do you expect? Inevitably, there will be still more casualties -but, as far as one can tell, the Japanese are doing well enough under the circumstances. It is a “damage control” situation.

  8. Troy
    March 22nd, 2011 at 16:45 | #8

    The question is whether the news are true

    I fully believe what they say is true.

    I also think they have not said a lot that they know or suspect.

    I haven’t heard the word ‘plutonium’ come up once, for example.

    For all I know half of reactor 3’s core has been washed into the Pacific ocean by now. That would be 5 tons of plutonium, plus all the plutonium in the other two reactor cores that have also partially melted down now, plus whatever Unit 4 vented into the ocean when it burned up.

    TEPCO sure waited a long time to start testing the water.

    If you can read Japanese is it a little easier ?

    It’s necessary. I’ve been watching the various news conferences on NHK and via special streaming direct from the conference rooms, though now I think the critical news cycle is at an end and things will soon move into recovery mode.

    The most informative overall has been the NHK analyst they bring on after every press conference to explain what was said, though they always cut off the press conference after only one or two questions have been answered.

    March 22nd, 2011 at 17:47 | #9

    Troy, shit happens! The other day I received a phone call from the son of an German friend of mine who retired in Namibia because he thought that crime was too high in South Africa, while in Namibia was not a problem. Well, the call was to advise me that my old friend Peter Knoch had been strangled in his house in Windhoek by one or more robbers.

    One has to believe that the Japanese government would advise its citizens of any imminent danger: it is not reasonable to believe that they just would let them fry. Beyond that, maybe it is better not to know too much of something that one doesn’t fully understand.

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